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George Washington Play and Pageant 
Costume Book. 2nd ptg. 


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United States George Washington Bicentennial Commission 


United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission 

President of the United States 

Vice-President of the United States 
Speaker of the House of Representatives 

United States Senate 

Simeon D. Fess, Vice-Chairman 

Arthur Capper 

Carter Glass 


Millard E. Tydings 

Presidential Commissioners 

Mrs. Anthony Wayne Cook 

Mrs. John Dickinson Sherman 

Henry Ford 

George Eastman 

Neu- York 

House of Representatives 

Willis C. Hawley 

John Q. Tilson 

Joseph W. Byrns 

R. Walton Moore 


C. Bascom Slemp 

Wallace McCamant 

Albert Bushnell Hart 

Associate Director 
Representative Sol Bloom 

Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart 

Executive Offices: 





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Qeorge Washington 

Tlay and Tageant 

Costume "Book 

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Part I 
Costume in the Time of George Washington 

Part II 
Military Uniforms and Stage Properties 

Copyright 193 1 by Sol Bloom 

United States George Washington 
Bicentennial Commission 




6T"\URING the year 1931, all America will participate in the Celebration of 
JUS the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of the greatest of 
oar National heroes, General George Washington. 

The United States George Washington Bicentennial Commission has prepared 
a series of booklets for the guidance of those in charge of programs for the 
Celebration. In addition to those dealing with the historical facts of George 
Washington's life and outlining a series of programs for the nation-wide cele- 
bration, this book has been prepared, from authentic and historical sources, 
to provide information regarding costumes of every variety suitable for the 
pageants, plays and playlets, social gatherings, costume balls and similar 
entertainments, which the various local committees may organize. It is of 
manifest importance that the costumes worn in the various celebrations be 
authentic and historically correct. 

The Commission is in no way interested in the sale of the costumes described; 
its sole aim is a patriotic one, and its only desire is to make sure that directors 
of George Washington pageants and plays have full information in regard to 
the costumes, in order to insure the success of their programs. The Commis- 
sion, upon request, will give the names of pattern-makers and firms which 
make, rent or sell, costumes. 




Costume in the Time of George Washington 3 

Dress of Colonial Ladies 3 

Men's Apparel in Washington's Time 8 

Dress of Colonial Children 10 

Washington's Attention to Dress 11 


Military Uniforms and Stage Properties 16 

Uniforms of American Army 16 

Suggested Uniforms for Pageants and Plays 10 

Glossary 11 

Costume Chart 14 



George Washington 

Tlay and T age ant Costume "Book 

Part I 
Costume in the Time of George Washington 

OLD costumes, like old letters and old diaries, bring 
us closer to an understanding of those who have 
lived before us. So, in celebrating the Two 
Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of George Washing- 
ton, this story of the costumes of the period is written to 
give a keener insight into the time when America's great- 
est hero lived. 

In 1732, the year of Washington's birth, much of the 
ruggedness of the early colonial days had passed. Virginia 
and the southern Colonies were shipping tobacco to Eng- 
land; the central Colonies were sending foodstuffs and 
furs; and New England was building ships and exporting 
lumber, fish and rum. The Colonies were flourishing. 
Philadelphia had grown to more than two hundred houses; 

New York had a population of about five thousand; while 
Boston, then the largest city in America, had some seven 
thousand residents. 

With the growth and wealth of the Colonies, fashion 
became a conspicuous element in early American life. Un- 
til the time of the Revolution, London was the fashion 
dictator of America. To illustrate the latest fashions, 
jointed dolls, dressed in the latest mode, were sent to the 
Colonies at regular intervals. These fashion "babies" 
were dressed by mantua-makers of Paris and sent to fash- 
ionable patrons in London. From England they continued 
their journey to the Colonies to stimulate feminine taste. 
When they were no longer of use, the Colonial children 
were permitted to play with them. 

Dress of Colonial Ladies 

The most fashionable dress a woman could wear at this 
period, 1732, was the sacque. This garment, a loose 
over-dress, hung from the shoulders above a large hooped 
petticoat. It was open in front to reveal a stomacher and 
petticoat of either the same or a contrasting material. 
The sacque was worn by fashionable women from 1720 
until 1777 and underwent several changes. 

Women who were not quite so fashion-conscious were 
wearing a dress with a long-waisted bodice which came to 
a point in front and bared the neck in a square or round 
decolletage. Both the dress and the sacque had short 
sleeves, either elbow length or ending midway between the 
shoulder and the elbow. Often ruffles of lace, shorter at 
the front of the arm and longer at the back, were used to 
finish the short sleeves. 

About 1740, it became the fashion to pleat the fullness 
at the back of the sacque into a series of box pleats. This is 
generally spoken of as the "Watteau gown" and the pleats 
as "Watteau pleats." Sometimes the body of the gown 
was made to fit the figure and the two box pleats attached 
at the neck hung free until they merged into the fullness of 
the hooped skirt. As time went on, the box pleating was 
brought into the bodice and sewed down flat. 

Then came a new gown called the "polonaise." The bod- 
ice, which was fitted and laced tightly over a stomacher, 
came down to a point in front. The full skirt was either 
looped with ribbons to form three festoons or hung in 
rippling fullness over a hooped petticoat. The polonaise 
was somewhat shorter than the Watteau gown which had 
touched the floor all the way around. The fashionable new 
length was just above the ankle. Fichus of lace, or shawls, 
were often worn over the low-cut polonaise gown. 

Styles of Hair Dressing 

Shortly after 1700, the roll, or pompadour, as we call it, 

came into vogue. With few variations it remained the 
fashion for more than fifty years. A portrait of Martha 
Washington, when she was still Martha Custis, shows how 
the hair was arranged over a roll and allowed to fall in 
loose curls upon the shoulders. 

At first pompadours were not much in evidence, but 
as time went on the hair was dressed higher and higher 
over immense, artificial rolls. In 1760, it was the fashion 
to entwine the hair with pearls and wear symmetrical 
clusters of curls on either side of the head. Perhaps a 
curl or two would hang over the shoulder from the back 
of the head. 

In Europe women were already powdering their hair. 
This, however, did not become a general fashion in Amer- 
ica until 1750. After that time, fashionable dames pow- 
dered their hair for dress occasions. The vogue disap- 
peared in 1785. 

One coiffure which was all the rage in America and 
France about 1778, consisted of thirteen set rows of curls. 
It was called "a l'lndependence" in honor of the thirteen 
new States. A few years later, fashion decreed a long 
lock of hair looped low at the back of the neck, then 
brought up to the crown of the head and caught with a 
comb. This mode was followed by the "Titus" hairdress. 
Locks were clipped close in the back and only a few strag- 
gling curls allowed to fall over the forehead. By 1800, 
since women's hair was obviously suffering from much 
frizzing and burning, the universal reign cf wigs began. 

Hoods, Hats and Bonnets 

Until 1690 women wore only hoods and 'kerchiefs to 
cover their hair. Then by a strange accident the "Fon- 
tange" came into fashion. It was named after Mademoiselle 
de Fontange. One day when she was hunting with King 
Louis XIV. her hair became disarranged and fell down her 
back. She quickly took off one of her garters and tied it 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 


up. The King was so pleased with the effect that all the 
women of the court began to wear ribbons tied around 
their heads with bows in front. 

Later fashions grew more elaborate. Lace and lawn 
caps were made with fills and ribbons on the front. This 
combination of ribbon and lace or lawn was known as the 
"commode-Fontange." The little caps which women in 
America wore in the early 1700's were inspired by these. 
Frequently they were finished by an addition of streamers 
or lappets which hung down in the back or at the sides. As 
it became the fashion to dress the hair higher, the caps grew 
in size. One of Martha Washington's favorite caps was 
called "the Queen's Night Cap." A diary of the time 
describes this magnificent cap of ruffles and ribbon: 
"If the material it is made of were more substantial than 
gauze it might serve occasionally to hold anything meas- 
ured by one-fourth peck." 

Straw hats, broad of brim and with low crown, appeared 
soon after 1730. They were frequently held in place by 
ribbons that went over the crown and tied under the 
chin. From this time on, it would be impossible to de- 
scribe the many styles of hats. And they were worn at 
every conceivable angle or perched at the top of the tower 
ot hair. Feathers, flowers, fruit, and ribbons were used 
as trimming. During the time of the Revolution there 
were even ' kitchen garden" style of hats with vegetable 
trimming; "rural" styles with windmills; and the famous 
"peal of bells," which was a steeple head-dress of ringing 

Bonnets also were worn during this period. Slat sun- 
bonnets were popular in the country and the calash, or 
bashful bonnet, was worn as early as 1765. This head- 
covering was usually made from green or brown silk, 
shirred over whalebones placed about two inches apart. It 
resembled a miniature hood or top to an old chaise or 
calash. The calash bonnet was extensible and could be 
worn either standing up at the back of the head or ex- 
tended over the face. 


4 & 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

Clothes for Travel 

The most popular means of travel during the eighteenth 
century was by horseback. Women did not ride alone as 
they do now, they rode seated apillion. This pillion was 
a wooden seat strapped to the horse's back behind the 
saddle. It usually had a padded cushion and stirrup. 
There was a metal handle to which the rider might cling 
for safety, if she preferred not to put one arm around her 
escort or cling to a specially designed leather belt which 
he wore. 

Riding habits generally consisted of a coat and a "safe- 
guard," donned over the regular bodice and skirt to protect 
them against flying dust or mud. The safeguard, or rid- 
ing petticoat as it was sometimes called, was made out of 
a sturdy linen or similar material. The coat was long 
(to the knee at first; in 1790, longer) and full-skirted, 
made to fit closely into the waist and fastened with but- 
tons. At the throat the feminine rider favored a frill of 
lace or tailored cravat. Feathered cocked hats were the 



fashion. Later, an extremely impractical broad-brimmed 
hat was worn for all except long distance traveling. 
While riding, a fan or parasol was often carried as a pro- 
tection from the sun. 

Cloaks and Other Wraps 

Cloaks were in use with few changes from the time of 
the first settlements in America until the end of the nine- 
teenth century. The most popular color for them during 
the time of Washington was scarlet, probably because this 
color did not fade as did many of the home-made dyes. 
Some garments were three-quarters length and some even 
longer. They were made both with and without attached 
hoods. The most fashionable style by 1730 was the 
"Roquelaure," named after the Duke of Roquelaure, a short, 
hoodless cape made of bright colored silk or camlet. 
The style called the "Cardinal" was a very warm cloak 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 


made of cardinal wool. The "Capuchins" were patterned 
after the habit of the Capuchin friars, with two long 
points in front and a hood attached. A most fashionable 
style in the later eighteenth century was the pelisse, a 
garment made with or without sleeves, but when made 
with slits for the arms termed a cloak. Sometimes a pelisse 
had a broad collar, at other times a hood. Costly pelisses 
were trimmed with fur. 

Various Vanities 

Accessories varied according to the wealth of the Colo- 
nial ladies. Gloves were considered a necessity. Long 
ones of black, white, or purple, in either kid or silk, were 
decidedly fashionable. In the summer many women wore 
ringerlcss gloves, or mitts, of lace or silk. 

Aprons, in various shapes and sizes, were considered not 
only a necessity but a fashionable accessory as well. 

An etui, " 'an ornamental case, hanging from the waist, 
intended to hold thimble, scissors, and scent bottle," was 
popular. The pomander was another accessory of vanity. 
It was a silver ball with perforations used to hold perfumed 

Patch boxes of ivory, silver and tortoise shell were car- 
ried. They contained patches of every shape and a little 
mirror to assist my lady in placing the beauty mark most 

On dress occasions it was the rule for ladies to appear 
with a bouquet of real or artificial flowers upon her gown. 
If the flowers were real, she placed them in a slim glass 
tube filled with water, which she tucked into the stomacher 
of her gown. 

Every lady of fashion carried a fan. These were made 
of painted kid, silver filigree, carved ivory, shell, satin, 
and feathers. 

The beautiful laces of this period deserve special men- 
tion. Every one wore lace — it trimmed gowns, made 



22 6 fig 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume book 

caps, appeared as mitts, and was put to many other uses. 

Muffs were an accessory throughout the eighteenth cen- 
tury. At first they were narrow and long but later became 


The fashion of wearing red heeled shoes started in 1710. 
American women enthusiastically sponsored the vogue. 
By 1751 high heels were indispensable to well-dressed ladies. 
Various materials were used in making the shoes — "fine 
silk," "flowered russet," "white calamanco," "black sham- 
my," "black velvet," "red morocco," etc. Most of the 
footwear bore the maker's name inside and the phrase, "Rips 
mended free." In 1790 heels disappeared completely and 
women wore sandal-like foot covering. The buckles of 
paste jewels were replaced by tiny bows or ribbon edging. 
But whatever else women's shoes were at this time, they 



were thin soled and quite unfit for wet weather. On such 
occasions, as well as for rough walking, women wore pat- 
tens or clogs, which raised the wearer clumsily from the 

Stays, Stomachers and Such 

Underneath the sacques of Colonial times it was neces- 
sary to wear stays that laced tightly. Sometimes whale- 
boned stomachers added to the discomort of the fashionably 

The Colonial Bride 

It was not the accepted custom for brides to wear white 
as it is today. They chose any color they wished. Pale 
blue was very popular. Brocade was the most fashionable 
fabric and the bride selected as costly a gown as she could 
afford. Bridal veils were the exception rather than the 
rule. It was not until after 1800 that the convention of 
the white bridal gown and veil was established fully. One 
very lovely gown designed for a bride is described as being 


George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

of .1 golden yellow, brocaded in flowers of various colors. 
I h is was looped or draped over a petticoat of yellow satin 
veiled in white gauze shot with silver. The slippers were 
lavender satin. 

Brides in Colonial times as well as today liked to have 
an extensive trousseaux of finery. Clothes had a definite 
place in the quaint old custom of "coming out bride." 
Throughout the Colonies, except where churchly segrega- 
tion made it impossible, the bride and groom in their finest 

clothes attended service the first Sunday after their mar- 
riage. In some communities the newly married couple 
were given the front seat and at an appointed time in the 
service they arose and turned slowly about. Often-times 
the bridal pair were supposed to wear bridal finery to 
church on each Sunday of the honeymoon month, and since 
these Sunday shows made the bride very conscious of her 
finery or lack of it, it was a proud bride who could don 
a new costume each Sunday. 

Men's Apparel in Washington's Time 

Coats were made fitted in at the waist, with full, square- 
cut, stiffened skirts and sleeves with very wide cuffs that 
fell over the wrist. The hilt of the sword protruded from 
beneath the coat, for wide sword belts had been laid aside, 
lull-gathered breeches of the knickcrbockcr style were in 
general wear. Blue and scarlet silk stockings often adorned 
with silver or gold clocks were the fashion. Velvet gar- 
ters, caught on one side with a sparkling buckle, were fas- 
tened over the stockings just below the knee. Practically 
all gentlemen of the eighteenth century wore periwigs and 
cocked hats. 


Because periwigs were one of the most characteristic 
features of men's dress from 1660 to 1770 they deserve 
special mention. Frequently they were made of human 
hair combined with horsehair in the parts that did not show. 
There was no pretense at making periwigs look real. Just 
why wigs were so generally popular is hard to understand, 
as they were cumbersome affairs of corkscrew curls, heavy, 
hot, and far from comfortable. 

Until 173 5 the periwig seems to have grown larger and 
larger. When it became impractical for wear in hunting, 
traveling, or, indeed, for everyday routine, a lighter wig, 
called the peruke, became fashionable for active affairs. 
Whereas the curls of the periwig surrounded the face, in the 
peruke they were brought back from the face, the side 
locks were turned up and tied with ribbons in a bob or 

In 1706 the "Ramillies" wig came into fashion. It had a 
long, plaited queue with a large bow at the top and a small 
one at the bottom. The story goes that this is the manner 
in which the soldiers fixed their hair during the Battle of 
Ramillies in order to escape the burden of a full wig. 

Other queue wigs followed in fashion. Those imported 
from France were popular. One of the most attractive 
styles was the Tie-Wig. It had a low toupe, full sides 
and back curls tied in a bunch with a black ribbon. Bag- 
Wigs were also fashionable. In these, the back hair was 
gathered into a little bag which protected gentlemen's coats 
from the powder of the flowing locks. But it would be 
impossible to name all the wig styles. From the advertise- 
ments of the day it seems that wigs were given dif- 
ferent names by different barbers. The "Beau-peruke," 
"Fox-tail," "Feather-top," "Full-bottom," and "Grecian 
Fly Wig" name only a few varieties. 

Wigs were not only uncomfortable but costly as well. 
They demanded a great deal of care, the curls having to 
be retightened and powdered. Consequently, about 1700 
it became fashionable to wear one's own hair again. It 
was, however, dressed with puffs and queues in the manner 
of wigs. Gentlemen continued to powder their hair until 
the last decade of the eighteenth century. 

Coats and Vests 

From 1700 to 175 there were few changes in the gen- 
eral appearance of gentlemen's coats and vests. The fash- 
ionable coat reached the knees or just below, and the vest 
varied from just a few inches to several shorter. As a gen- 
eral rule neither garment had a collar. At first the skirts 
of the coats were only moderately full. Then it became 
the fashion to gather them into fan-shaped pleats, and 
after a while, to stiffen them with buckram until they stood 
out as though hooped. Around 1750, plain, close-fitting, 
skirted coats took the place of the exaggerated stiffened 
styles. As time went on, the front of the coats was left 
more and more open. 
Large, turned-back cuffs 
with ruffles of lace show- 
ing below them were in 
fashion until 1760. Gradu- 
ally cuffs became smaller 
and tight. The great 
pocket flaps, likewise, be- 
came smaller and less con- 

In discussing men's coat, 
the question is sure to 
arise as to why two but- 
tons are placed at the back. 
Various reasons have been 
advanced. One is that the 
buttons were placed there 
in order to attach a pro- 
tective garment when 
horeback riding. Another 
theory is that they were 
used for looping back the 
skirts of the coat and that 
cord loops were sewn un- 
der the corners of the 
skirts. In the days when 
dress swords were the rule, 
the sash of the sword was 
held in place by a cord or 
strap fastened to the coat 
by these buttons. 

A favorite material for 
gentlemen's coats was vel- 
vet or other fine cloth. 
Black was worn, although 
the two most fashionable 
shades were the far from 
somber claret and green. 
Waistcoats were frequent- 
ly made of rich silks 
flowered in large patterns 


28 8 M> 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

and ornamented with gold or silver laces. 


Breeches, which at the opening of the century had been 
full, like knickerbockers, were now tailored tightly over 
the legs and brought in snugly at the knee, or were full 
in the seat and gathered into a tight fitting waistband. 
Ruckles and buttons at the knee served for embellishment. 

Odd breeches may have been worn on some occasions, 
usually, however, they matched the color and material of 
the coat. Little or no change was made in the cut of 
breeches after they were made to fit the leg. 

Banyans and Turbans 

Admire as you will the picturesque and charming cos- 
tumes of Colonial days, it is obvious that they were not 
comfortable. It was only natural that the Colonial gen- 
tleman should have donned a more comfortable garment 
in the privacy of his own home. The "banyan," which 
became widely popular, was just such an article of apparel. 
By 1730, the banyan was being worn both in America and 
Europe. It was a loose robe made as handsome or as sim- 
ple as the wearer could afford: soft china silk banyans 

for summer; heavy 
damasks for winter; 
striped or figured cot- 
ton also served. In the 
southern Colonies, the 
masters wore the ban- 
yan in travelling over 
their plantations. Not 
infrequently lawyers 
and merchants wore it 
at work. Some gentle- 
men had their portraits 
painted in banyans. 

With the banyan 
was worn a turban-like 
head-dress. With the 
wig removed for com- 
fort, some covering was 
necessary for the shaven 
head. The most ap- 
proved manner of wear- 
ing the turban was at 
a jaunty angle. 

Cocked Hats 

When the brims of 
hats had increased in 
width to seven or eight 
inches they lost their 
stiffness and dropped 
down about the face. 
Then the wearer began 
rolling up the brim, 
sometimes at one side, 
sometimes at another. 
Soon it became the style 
to cock the hat. By 
1700 the three-corner- 
ed, cocked hat was gen- 
eral and it retained its 
popularity until after 
the Revolution. There 



was a great difference in three-cornered, cocked hats, how- 
ever. Fairholt writes: "By the cock of the hat, the man 
who wore it was known; and they varied from the modest 
broad brim of the clergy and country gentleman or citizen, 
to the more decidedly fashionable cock worn by merchant- 
men and would-be-fashionable Londoners; while a very 
pronounced a la militaire cock was affected by the gallant." 

As the brim was caught up by loops to a button on the 
top, in case of rain one or all of the flaps of the hat could 
be let down. Soldiers were penalized during the Revolu- 
tionary War for wearing their hats uncocked, because this 
careless unlooping gave them a "hang-dog look." The edge 
of the brim of the cocked hat was bound with braid or 

In the '70s a new style in hats appeared — a round- 
crowned, broad brimmed hat of felt or beaver. Next 
came the top hat with narrow brim and tapering crown, 
an obvious predecessor of the hats men wear today. 


By the beginning of the eighteenth century cloaks and 
capes were no longer fashionable. They were still worn 
occasionally in severe weather or for travelling. Great 
loose overcoats, double-breasted and belted, were much in 
favor. Wide cuffs and large collars distinguished them. 
As time went on, shoulder capes were added. Fur coats 
and leather coats, in simple, practical styles, were also worn. 

Shirts, Cravats and Solitaires 

Under his coat and vest the Colonial gentleman wore a 
beautiful shirt. If he were of wealth and position, it was 
more than likely to be of the finest Holland linen; if he 
could not afford that, of cotton or calico. Some of the 
young men of this period insisted upon wearing no vests 
at all and letting their long, full shirts fall in blouse style 
over the waistbands of their breeches; or, the vest was left 
unbuttoned a short way down to show the meticulously 
arranged cravat. Of course the ruffles of the shirt sleeves 
appeared from beneath the cuffs of the coat. 

Ruffs and bands were the neckwear of the early Colo- 
nists. By 1700 cravats, said to be named for the Cravates 
of the French military service who adopted such neckwear, 
were in general use in the Colonies. The cravat was worn 
whenever and wherever a wig was worn. The first crav- 
ats were like long scarfs. Usually made of sheer linen 
and about two yards long, they were wrapped several 
times about the throat and looped under the chin. 
The shorter, upper end of the scarf was often embroidered 
or trimmed with lace and allowed to hang free; the longer 
end was tucked in between the buttons of the waistcoat 
well below the waist. 

The "Steinkirk" cravat was a favorite with young dan- 
dies. It was a nonchalant twist of the scarf rather than the 
exact tie. The folds were loose and the ends tucked 
through button holes. The fashion of lace frills supplant- 
ed cravats in the early eighteenth century. Gentlemen 
had lace frills attached to their shirts under the stock or 
neckband. These frills, generally termed "jabots," gained 
rapidly in popularity. Plain stocks buckled at the neck 
were worn with jabots. 

The "solitaire" was a black silk ribbon worn about the 
neck. In the back, it was attached to the wig-bag of the 
back hair and in front lost itself in the frills of the 
jabot or was caught by a broach. Sometimes the solitaire 
was tied in a bow knot under the chin. It added to the 
great charm of the Colonial gentleman's costume — ruffled 
jabot at the throat, jeweled stock buckle, powdered wig 
with bag and solitaire — these were very becoming fashions. 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

Shoes and Boots 

Square shoe buckles are often spoken of in this country 
.is "George Washington buckles," though as a fact they had 
been worn many years before. At the time of his birth, 
it was .\n accepted custom to wear pointed shoes with high 
tongues fastened on the instep by a square buckle. 

Boots were worn for travelling and hunting, jack-boots 
most frequently. These were made of stiff leather. Just 
below the knee they swelled out in an immense cuff to give 
freedom of movement to the wearer. In stormy weather 
leggings, called spatterdashes, were worn to protect the 


Russet and green silk stockings, for dress occasion, 
adorned with gold or silver clocks, were the acme of per- 
fection in dress in 17} 2. By Revolutionary times white 
stockings had supplanted them in the popular taste and 
this style prevailed until 1790 when stripes held sway. 
Those who could not afford silk stockings wore "good 
knit worsted stockings," cloth stockings, leather stockings 
or homespun stockings. 

Cost of Clothes 

Many people are of the opinion that clothes cost very 
little in Colonial times. This is a mistake. It was not 
exceptional for a gentleman to pay two guineas for his 
embroidered silk stockings (a guinea was worth five dol- 
lars). Handsome wigs cost from thirty to fifty guineas. 

It was no wonder sneak thieves considered them a rich 
prize. Aside from the original cost of the wig, gentlemen 
had to pay large sums to have them kept in shape. Ten 
pounds a year is what it usually cost to have a barber call 
for one wig. A coat might cost only a guinea and 
breeches no more, but stock buckles and shoe buckles were 
as costly as the wearer could afford. 

Muffs, Earrings and Snuff Boxes 

It was the custom throughout this period for men to 
carry muffs; not only the dandies, but the clergy and 
lawyers likewise. At first muffs were made of cloth and 
richly embroidered. Later feathers and furs were used. 
In 172 5 a Boston paper carried Dr. Prince's advertisement 
that he had lost his "black bearskin muff." Muffs varied 
in size, from ones that reached from waist to knee to "a 
decent smallish muff that you may put in your pocket, 
and it cost but fourteen shillings." 

Earrings, usually a pearl or gold, were likewise consid- 
ered masculine accessories during the eighteenth century. 
It was more customary for sea-going men to pierce their 
ears, however, as there was a superstition that car-piercing 
prevented and cured sore eyes. It was a safe guess during 
the 1700's that the man with pierced ears had seen the 
world and sailed around the Horn. 

Almost every gentleman carried a snuff box. It was as 
important to him as a fan was to a lady. The material 
and workmanship of the little box depended upon the 
owner's wealth and fancy. Another interesting masculine 
vanity was the great comb to put the periwig in order — 
which the gentleman often did in public. 

Dress of Colonial Children 

Colonial babies were clad in the softest linen. Little 
linen shirts, perhaps embroidered with the motto, "God 
bless the Babe," linen mitts, and little linen petticoats and 
sacques made up the usual dress of the baby of the eigh- 
teenth century. Mrs. Alice Morse Earle writes, "I think 
infants wore no woolen petticoats; their shirts, petticoats, 
and gowns were of linen or some cotton stuff like dimity." 
Warmth was supplied by little shawls which were pinned 
around the shoulders, or perhaps the baby was wrapped in 
a blanket or quilt. 

Baby dresses were usually shapeless garments gathered 
in at the neck. Some, however, were made in a very 
grown-up fashion with straight lines and square necks. 
All were made by hand with painstaking care. In the 
country sections homespun was used if linen or dimity was 
not procurable. It was not out of the way to have a 
baby's dress as long as his mother's when she held him on 
her arm, although during the eighteenth century the 
"three-quarters" dress was more generally in use. 

Bands and bibs have changed little. But the lace mitts, 
cuffs, and caps have been put aside. Babies wore caps in 
bed and when they were taken out a heavier cap, perhaps 
of velvet, was slipped over the lace one. Few people today 
have ever heard of the "puddings" children used to wear. 
A pudding, or pudding-cap, was a huge, cushion-like head- 
gear put on a child when he was learning to walk to prevent 
his bumping his head. But the most striking difference 
in the dress of children of Colonial times and today is the 
way in which their mothers changed them to grown-up 
clothes. Today, there is no marked change in costume to 
correspond to the "coating" and "leaving off of coats" of 
years ago. The little Colonial boy was "coated" when he 

left off baby clothes. When coated, he wore a short frock 
and petticoats. Next came the donning of breeches or 
"leaving off coats," which usually took place when the 
child was about six. 

"Pinners" were another characteristic of Colonial chil- 
dren's dress. Even boys wore aprons until they left off 
coats. These were little aprons with bibs. The kind that 
covered skirt and sleeves were known as "tiers." For 
dress-up occasion there were dainty aprons of starched 
lawn or lace. 

Even corsets were made for children. Mrs. Earle writes 
that she has seen "a pair of stays labelled as having been 
made for a boy of five." They were made of board, sewed 
into a buckram waist and reenforced with steel — a veritable 
straight jacket. 

Nankeen was a material popular for children's clothes 
as well as for adults' apparel. Nothing could be more 
fashionable for a boy than nankeen breeches with silver 
knee-buckles. In winter, on the very coldest days, some 
children wore woolens. Strange to say, it was yellow 
flannel and not the proverbial red flannel. 

For party occasions little girls wore dresses of lawn or 
cambric. They were cut in the same styles as their 
mother's sacques. From Colonial portraits we learn that 
children wore, also, the powdered, uncomfortable wigs 
which were such a source of pride to their parents. Likewise 
the mask, which women wore to keep the rays of the sun 
from marring their complexions, were worn by little girls. 
Nellie Custis had one, as had Mrs. Washington. Children 
seem to have been miniatures of grown-ups, most of the 
costumes of adults being adopted for them. 

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George Washington Play and Pageant Costume book 



Washington's Attention to Dress 

Although George Washington's advice on dress was 
given two centuries ago it is just as sound wisdom today 
as it was then: 

"Decency and cleanliness will always be the first objects 
in the dress of a judicious and sensible man. ... A con- 
formity to the prevailing fashion in a certain degree is 
necessary . . . but it does not follow from thence that a 
man should always get a new coat upon every trilling 
change in the mode, when, perhaps, he has two or three 
very good ones by him. ... A person who is anxious to 
be a leader of the fashion, or one of the first to follow it, 
will certainly appear, in the eyes of judicious men, to have 
nothing better than a frequent change of dress to recom- 
mend him to notice." 

This, and Washington's further admonition, that, "fine 
clothes do not make fine men any more than fine feathers 
make fine birds," show that Washington was far from 
being a dandy, although he had a reputation for always 

being "very neat and genteel" in dress. 

Before the Revolution he sent frequent orders to his 
agent in London. Here are a few of the most interesting. 
They give a vivid insight into Colonial costume. 

Orders Sent to England 

Soon after Washington became master of Mount Vernon 
he wrote for: 

A riding waistcoat of superior fine scarlet cloth and 
gold lace with buttons like those of the coat. 

A very neat and fashionable Newmaker saddle cloth. 

6 pairs of the very neatest shoes, viz: 2 pr. double chan- 
nelled pumps; two pair turned ditto and two pair stitched 
shoes, to be made over Colonel Beiler's last but to be a 
little wider over the insteps. 

6 prs. gloves, 3 pairs of which to be proper for riding 
and to have slip tops; the whole larger than middle size. 

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George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

JMly jCady ^At H 

<r \TOTE how the gesture of 
■^ V imitates that of her motr 
imitations of their elders. Noi 
the rich materials affected by t 
of wig and stays, patch and 
dresses of dimity or nankeen 


An Order for Martha Washington 

The following order has been preserved in Washington's 
own handwriting. It is one sent in 175 9 for his wife: 
"Two fine flowered aprons. 
One pair women's white silk hose. 
Four pairs thread hose. 
Six pairs women's fine cotton hose. 
One pair black satin shoes. 
One pair white satin shoes of smallest 5's. 
Four pairs calamanco shoes. 
One fashionable hat or bonnet. 
Six pairs women's best kid gloves. 
Eight pairs women's best mitts. 
One dozen round silk laces. 
One black mask. 

One dozen most fashionable pocket handkerchiefs. 
One piece of narrow white satin ribbon with pearl edge. 
Four pieces of binding tape. 
Six thousand miniken pins. 


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George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

•Af£ ^And ^Abroad 

ie little girl, as well as her dress, 
r. In Colonial days children were 
)nly were their party clothes of 
*ir parents, with every accessory 
n or muff, but even their play 
ere cut from the same patterns. 



Six thousand short whites. 
Six thousand cocking pins. 
One thousand hair pins." 

An Order for "Miss Custis" 

When his stepdaughter was six years old he sent the 
following order to England to provide for her needs. This 
was in 1761 : 

"1 Coat made of Fashionable Silk. 

A fashionable Cap or fillet with Bib apron. 

Ruffles and Tuckers, to be laced. 

4 Fashionable dresses made of Long Lawn. 

2 Fine Cambrick Frocks. 

A Satin Capuchin, hat, and neckatees. 

A Persian Quilted Coat. 

1 p. Pack Thread Stays. 

4 p. Callimanco Shoes. 

George Washington Play and Paglant Costume Book 


6 p. Leather Shoes. 

2 p. Satin Shoes with flat ties. 

6 p. Fine Cotton Stockings. 

4 p. White Worsted Stockings. 

12 p. Mitts. 

6 p. White Kid Gloves. 

1 p. Silver Shoe Buckles. 

1 p. Neat Sleeve Buttons. 

6 Handsome Egrettes Different Sorts. 

6 Yards Ribbon for Egrettes. 

12 Yards Coarse Green Callimanco." 

Costumes of the Mt. Vertion Servants 

An order sent to England in 1759 tells exactly what 
i lie Washington servants wore: 
"2 doz. pairs of plaid hose sorted. 

2 doz. Monmouth caps. 

2 5 yds. broadcloth to cost about 7s. 6d. 

1 5 yds. coarse double thick broadcloth. 
6 yds. scarlet broadcloth. 
10 yds. red shallon. 

12 doz. white washed waiscoast buttons. 
2D doz. white washed coat buttons. 

40 yds. coarse jean or fustian for summer frocks for 
negro servants. 

I ' 2 doz. pairs strong coarse thread hose. 
1 doz. pairs coarse shoes and knee buckles. 
1 postillion cap. 
6 castor beavers." 

Troubles of Colonial Customers 

From letters of Washington, written in 1760, we learn 
that English merchants were not always careful to send 
Colonial customers the best goods at the best prices: 

"And here Gentn. I cannot forbear ushering in a Com- 
plaint of the exorbitant prices of my Goods this year all 
of which are to come to hand. . . . For many Years I have 
Imported Goods from London as well as other Ports of 
Britain and can truly say I never had such a penny worth 
before. It woud be a needless Task to innumerate every 
Article that I have cause to except against, let it suffice 
to say that Woolens, Linnens, Nails & ca. are mean in 
quality but not in price, for in this they excel indeed, far 
above any I have ever had." 


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George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

"Let me beseech you Gentn. to give the necessary di- 
rections for purchasing of them upon the best Terms. It 
is needless for me to particularise, the sorts, quality, or 
taste I woud choose to have them in unless it is observd; 
and you may believe me when I tell you that instead of 
getting things good and fashionable in their several kinds 
we often have Articles sent Us that coud only have been 
used by our Forefathers in the days of yore. Tis a cus- 
tom, I have some Reason to believe, with many Shopkeep- 
ers, and Tradesmen in London when they know Goods 
are bespoke for Exportation to palm sometimes old, and 
sometimes very slight and indifferent Goods upon Us tak- 
ing care at the same time to advance 10, 15 or perhaps 20 
pr. Ct. upon them." 

After the Revolution 

Orders were not sent to England after the war as they 
had been before the conflict. Washington set a patriotic 
example by wearing 
native-made clothes 
fashioned of home- 
made cloth. Mrs. 
Washington also clad 
herself in domestic 
clothes. She even knit- 
ted and wove cloth at 

The Inaugural 

A vivid and often 
quoted description of 
the first Inaugural 
Ball in New York in 
1789 is given by Colo- 
nel Stone: 

"Few jewels were 
worn in the United 
States, but in other 
respect the dresses were 
rich and beautiful, ac- 
cording to the fashion 
of the day. We are 
not quite sure that we 
can describe the full 
dress of a lady of rank 
in the period under 
consideration, so as to 
render it intelligible, 
but we will make the 
attempt. One favorite 
dress was a plain celes- 
tial blue satin gown 
with a white satin pet- 
ticoat. On the neck 
was worn a large 
Italian gauze handker- 
chief, with border of 
satin. The head-dress 
was a pouf of gauze, 

in the form of a globe, the creneaux or head piece of 
which was composed of white satin, having a double 
wing, in large plaits, and trimmed with a wreath of arti- 
ficial roses, falling from the left at the top to the right at 
the bottom, in front, and the reverse behind. The hair 
was dressed all over in detached curls, four of which, in 
two ranks, fell on each side'of the neck, and were relieved 

19. Washington's uniform. 


behind by a floating chignon. Another beautiful dress 
was a perriot made of gray Indian taffeta, with dark stripes 
of the same color, having two collars, the one of yellow, 
and the other white, both trimmed with a blue silk fringe, 
and a revere trimmed in the same manner. Under the 
perriot was worn a yellow corset or bodice, with large 
cross stripes of blue. Some of the ladies wore hats a l'Es- 
pagnole of white satin, with a band of the same material 
placed on the. crown, like the wreath of flowers on the 
head-dress above mentioned. This hat, which, with a 
plume, was a very popular article of dress, was relieved on 
the left side, having two handsome cockades, one of which 
was at the top and the other at the bottom. On the neck 
was worn a very large plain gauze handkerchief, the ends 
of which were hid under the bodice." 

At Washington's second inauguration, in Philadelphia, 
1793, we learn that he wore: "a full suit of black velvet, 
his hair powdered and in a bag; diamond knee buckles, 
and a light sword with gray scabbard." Jefferson was 
dressed in a blue suit with red vest. Mr. Adams wore a 
suit of fine gray cloth. 


George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

Part II 
Military Uniforms and Stage Properties 

To those patriotic citizens, who in 1932 will celebrate 
the Bicentennial of General George Washington's birth by 
pageant or play, the uniforms worn by American, French, 
Hessian and British soldiers during the Revolution are 
of signal interest and as important a matter for dramatic 
consideration as the costumes of the citizenry. 

The costumer of a production is interested: first, in 
the materials and design of the garments; second, in the 
decorations and appurtenances. 

From the records of the French, Hessian and British 

regiments, which served in America during the the Revo- 
lution, authentic descriptions are available as to the type 
of uniforms, their color and decorations. It is regrettable 
that more complete records are not accessible concerning 
the clothing worn by American soldiers during the Revo- 
lution. Only from the patient research of Colony, State 
and Continental records, diaries, orderly books, and de- 
scriptions of deserters have writers been able to collect the 
knowledge on this subject from which the information for 
this chapter has been derived. 

Uniforms of American Army 

Soldiers in the American Army, prior to 1780, wore 
many varieties of uniforms. Each Colony, each regiment, 
and at times each company dressed its men as it desired. 
This wide variation in uniforms worn by the Continental 
Army was due to the fact that the obtaining of clothing 
was a major problem confronting American leaders. The 
color and cut of the uniform was of secondary importance 
and consideration. Throughout the war the source of 
supply was limited. There 
were practically no manu- 
factures in the Colonies 
for production of clothing 
materials. Each family 
grew its own flax and 
wool, which was prepared 
and woven in the home, 
and the quantity of this 
home-made material was 
necessarily limited during 
the war. Welcome were 
the stores of British uni- 
forms captured at St. 
Johns, Saratoga, or at sea 
by privateers fitted out by 
General Washington's or- 
der, although expedients to 
disguise them in order to 
prevent confusion on the 
battlefield had to be de- 
vised. After the consum- 
mation of the French 
alliance, some materials 
were secured abroad. 

At the outbreak of the 
Revolution, little thought 
was given to military dress 
by the American farmers 
and townsmen who first 
formed themselves into 
companies of Minute Men, 
or even by those who or- 
ganized the active militia.. 
Both officers and men 
wore their most service- 
able civilian clothing. 
They supplied their own 
arms and equipment. Some 
had shoulder belts and car- 




leather or canvas, although the usual method of carrying 
powder and ammunition was by way of the familiar pow- 
der-horn and bullet pouches. Most of the officers were 
armed as were their men, with musket or rifle, which they 
always carried while on duty. As a designation of rank, 
officers carried a short sword of no regular design. 

Uniforms for Americans are not mentioned in the ac- 
counts of Lexington and Concord, though it is possible 

there were present veter- 
ans of the French and In- 
dian Wars, who wore their 
old uniforms of red or 
blue faced with red as pre- 
scribed for Colonial troops 
in British service. At the 
battle of Bunker Hill, the 
only uniformed organiza- 
tion was the Wethersfield 
Company of Connecticut, 
commanded by Captain 
John Chester, which com- 
pany wore blue uniforms 
faced with red. However, 
the men of this company, 
not desiring to expose 
themselves to danger be- 
cause of their unusual 
dress, donned hunting 
frocks and trousers over 
their uniforms. 

Materials Used in 
Continental Uniforms 

Almost every kind of 
material was used in the 
making of the early uni- 
forms, from broadcloth to 
canvas. The coats were of 
coarse, home-woven, wool- 
en materials. Commis- 
sioned and non-commis- 
sioned officers' coats were 
often made of a finer 
grade of woolen than 
those of the privates. 
Waistcoats and breeches 
were fashioned from a 
variety of materials — 

cS8 16 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

drilling, linen, woolen, leather and buckskin. In warm 
weather, breeches and waistcoats of coarse linen were gen- 
erally worn; for winter wear, those garments were made 
of woolen material when such was obtainable. 

The Indian hunting shirt and leggings, which were 
more often seen than any other type of uniforms, were 
made of doeskin, buckskin, and linen. 

Variety of materials was used also in the manufacture 
of the hats and caps. Many of the hats were made of 
felt. The caps were fashioned from cloth, different skins, 
or heavy leather. The coonskin cap of the frontiersman 
was popular head-dress. Straw hats were worn in summer 
by some regiments. 

The Rifle Dress or Hunting Shirt 

The settlers on the outskirts of Colonial civilization were 
quick to note the advantages of certain Indian raiment 
and adopted a costume that was variously called the rifle 
dress, hunting frock or Indian hunting shirt. It was the 
picturesque garb worn by the expert rifleman of the Caro- 
linas, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Washington 
was particularly familiar with this type of garment, hav- 
ing donned it himself during his frontier experiences. He 
appreciated its advantages for field service and early in 
the war expressed the desire that the army be uniformed 
in this attire. In fact, it became the field dress of almost 
the entire army. 

The hunting shirt was 
made of deerskin, linen 
or home-spun. The pat- 
tern was cut very simply 
on the lines of an ordi- 
nary shirt to be pulled 
on over the head and 
gathered in at the waist 
by a belt. The length 
varied from just below 
the hips to knee length 
— the most popular de- 
sign. Different regiments 
adopted different color 
schemes and the hunting 
shirts were dyed various 
colors, such as tan, green, 
blue, yellow, purple, 
black or white. Some 
had capes and cuffs only 
of differing colors. With 
the hunting shirts were 
worn long leggings or 
overalls, also preferred by 
Washington to breeches 
and stockings. These 
were made of linen or 
duck, undyed, or of deer 
leather, and later in the 
war were furnished in 
wool for winter wear. 
They were shaped to the 
leg, fastened at the ankle 
with four buttons, and 
had a strap under the 

In his General Orders 
of July 24, 1776, General 
Washington pointed out 
several advantages of the 23. British private 


rifle dress: "No dress can be cheaper, nor more con- 
venient, as the wearer may be cool in warm weather and 
warm in cool weather by putting on under-clothes which 
will not change the outward dress, Winter or Summer — 
besides which it is a dress justly supposed to carry no small 
terror to the enemy, who think every such person a com- 
plete marksman." 

Hunting shirts were not considered uniforms but were 
a substitute when coats could not be procured. Their 
general use was such, however, that they were practically 
service uniforms or field dress. Early in the war, they 
were required to be worn by both officers and men of the 
regular Virginia troops in Continental service, all dyed 
the same color in each regiment. The hunting shirts of 
at least the 6th. Virginia Regiment, in 1775 and 1776, 
were differentiated to show rank, with small white cuffs 
on the sergeants' shirts, dark cuffs on the drummers', and 
fringe on the officers', while the men's were plain. 

The Design of the Uniform Coat 

Since the introduction of firearms, the uniforms of most 
armies have been much the same in line and cut. Aside 
from the decorations and a few individual features, such 
as the collar and cuffs, the same pattern could have been 
used for the American, French, British and Hessian forces. 
The coat was cut with a rather tight sleeve and full skirt, 

knee length, a trifle short 
of the knee, or half-way 
between waist and knee. 
The longer length pre- 
dominated. The linings 
of the coat were of va- 
rious colors and when the 
tails were turned back 
and buttoned, as was the 
custom, the lining was 
prominently displayed. 
Practically all coats were 
double-breasted with 
lapels to the waist, hav- 
ing colored facings which 
showed as a decorative 
feature when buttoned 
back. A variety of col- 
lars and cuffs were used, 
the general favorite be- 
ing a collar of generous 
proportions which could 
be turned up high for 
protection in cold weath- 
er or worn folded over. 
Later in the war, be- 
cause of French influ- 
ence, both American and 
British armies adopted 
the straight standing col- 
lar. The coats were pro- 
vided with ample pock- 
ets, the opening at the 
waist line protected by a 
flap fashioned with but- 

The Waistcoat 

The waistcoats were 
designed without sleeves 
and cut on the same gen- 


S8i 7 U 


George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book linos .is chow worn today, with the exception of the 
length and neck opening; that of the Colonial uniform 
being longer and having a higher cut at the neck. The 
pockets of the vest were provided with flaps which could 
be buttoned down the same as those on the coat. 

The breeches were tight-fitting, cut to end below the 
knee. From the bottom of the leg to a point three or 
four inches above the knee, the outside seam was left open 
and held snug to the knee with buttons or straps and 

Both the waistcoat and breeches were of the same design 
in the American, French, British and Hessian forces. 

Washington Introduces 

General Washington 
wrought an innovation in 
military uniforms of that 
period and perhaps was 
responsible for the intro- 
duction of the long 
trousers worn today. The 
superiority of the long 
trousers over breeches and 
stockings for field service 
became apparent early in 
the war. After the cam- 
paign of 1776, General 
Washington prescribed • his 
type of garment for gen- 
eral field wear. Like the 
leggings of the hunting 
costume, these were slash- 
ed to the leg and fastened 
with four buttons at the 
ankle and a strap under 
the shoe. 

The British soon saw 
the advantages of this gar- 
ment in campaigning a 
country like America and 
adopted it for their troops. 
On the return of British 
troops to England after 
peace was declared, they 
took this style with them 
and later it was generally 
adopted bv the British 
army and Englishmen in- 
fluenced by the army, 
until soon long trousers 
became the prevalent fash- 
ion for male civilian wear. 

Color of Uniforms 




The first official colors for Continental uniforms was 
brown, it being adopted by the Continental Congress on 
November 4, 1775, after consulting with General Wash- 
ington and the New England Governors. Regiments were 
to be distinguished by facings of different colors. This 
action by Congress was not much more than a recom- 
mendation, as the troops were never all in brown. The 
majority of the Connecticut troops, throughout the war, 
wore uniform coats of brown faced with buff, white, 
or red. The first Pennsylvania Battalion also wore a brown 
coat, as did many of the first Continental regiments. 

Early in the war, blue was the favorite color for officers' 
dress, and by the end of 1778, blue was the color preferred 
by the men. On March 23, 1779, the Continental Con- 
gress, in an ordinance regulating the clothing department, 
authorized Washington to prescribe the colors and cut of 
the uniforms of the respective states and regiments. 
Washington complied in the General Order of October 2, 
1779, which fixed blue as the color for all branches of the 
service and for all the State regiments in the Continental 
line, with distinctive differences in linings and facings. 
For artillery and artillery artificer regiments, the uniform 
was ordered to be blue, faced and lined with scarlet, with 
yellow buttons, the coats to be edged, and the buttonholes 

co be bound, with narrow 
lace or tape. The light 
dragoons were to wear 
blue, faced and lined with 
white and with white but- 
tons. The blue coats of 
the infantry regiments 
were all to be lined with 
white and to have white 
buttons, and States were 
distinguished by different 
colored facings, as follows: 
the New England States — 
New Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, 
and Connecticut — white 
facings; New York and 
New Jersey — buff facings; 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, 
Maryland, and Virginia — 
red facings; North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and 
Georgia — blue facings and 
buttonholes edged with 
narrow white tape. 

All Continental troops 
were not at once clothed 
according to this order, 
and some of them proba- 
bly never were, but offi- 
cers were requested to con- 
form to it, and the men 
were furnished the stand- 
ard uniform in so far as 
supplies would permit. 
Thus, eventually, after the 
Revolutionary War had 
progressed for several 
years, blue became the 
prescribed color for the 
coats of the American 
Army. The reason for its 
adoption as the distinctive 
color was undoubtedly be- 
cause it had been the in- 
signia, with the addition of buff, of the Whigs of Great 
Britain in their struggle for constitutional liberty, and 
naturally blue and buff became the colors of the Whig 
party in America. 

There prevails, in the minds of most Americans, the 
erroneous belief that the blue coat faced or trimmed with 
buff was the regulation uniform coat of the Continental 
Armies. Red was the color most popular and was more 
generally in use for facings and the trimming of collars, 
cuffs and edgings. It is plain that but few troops ever wore 
the "blue and buff," and after General Washington's "uni- 


£5 18 Jg 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

form" order of 1779, it was worn only by general officers, 
unattached aides, the First and Second New York Con- 
tinental Infantry, First and Second New Jersey Con- 
tinental Infantry of the Line, Corps of Engineers, Sappers 
and Miners, and Washington's bodyguards, who were se- 
lected men from the Infantry arm — altogether numeri- 
cally few. 

Trimmings of Uniforms and Insignia of Rank 

As the uniform coats were all double- 
breasted and the custom was to turn back the 
lapels from collar to waist-line and button 
them to show the brighter facings, many but- 
tons were used, often a 
dozen, necessarily set close 
together. The correspond- 
ing button holes were 
worked with silk or edged 
with braid of the regimen- 
tal colors. 

The collars were of the 
same color as the facings 
and usually had a button- 
hole at the angle of the 
wing so that they could 
be buttoned to the coat, 
close to the neck, thus in- 
suring an upright position. 
The cuffs were made to 
turn back at the wrist, 
displaying the colored fac- 
ings; buttonholes in the 
cuffs permitting them to 
be buttoned to the sleeve 
and so held in place. In 
cold weather the cuffs 
could be turned down over 
the hand. 

The lining of the coat 
was usually of a different 
color from the facings. 
Occasionally the edges of 
the coat were trimmed 
with a braid of a different 
color. The waistcoat was 
without decoration, be- 
yond buttonholes on the 
flaps of the pockets and 
now and then an edging of 

The hat was generally 
untrimmed, though some 
regiments had the edge of 
the brims finished in a 
bright colored braid. 

Up to 1780 the insignia 
of rank was as varied as 

the types and colors of the uniforms. On the Sabbath 
Day, from his Headquarters, Short Hills, New Jersey, 18th 
June, 1780, Washington issued a General Order, prescrib- 
ing, apparently for the first time, the uniform of general 
officers and of the staff generally. The order was as fol- 

"As it is at all times of great importance, both for the 
sake of appearance and for the regularity of service, that 
the different military ranks should be distinguished from 
each other, and more especially at the present, the Com- 




mander-in-Chief has thought proper to establish the fol- 
lowing distinctions, and strongly recommends it to all 
officers to endeavor to conform to them as speedily as 
possible. The Major Generals to wear blue coats, with buff 
facings and lining, yellow buttons, white or buff under- 
clothes, two epaulettes, with two stars upon each, and a 
black and white feather in the hat. The stars will be fur- 
nished at Headquarters. The Brigadier Generals, the same 
uniform as the Major Generals, with the difference of one 
star in the place of two, and a white feather. The Colo- 
nels, Lieut. Colonels and Majors, the uniform of their regi- 
ments and two epaulettes. The Captains, the uniforms 
of their regiments and an epaulette on the right shoulder. 

The Subalterns, the uni- 
form of their regiments 
and an epualette on the 
left shoulder. The Aides- 
de-Camp, the uniform of 
their General officers. 
Those of the Major Gen- 
erals and Brigadier Gen- 
erals to have a green 
feather in the hat. Those 
of the Commander-in- 
Chief, a white and green. 
The Inspectors, as well 
Sub. as Brigade, the uni- 
forms of their ranks and 
Corps, with a blue feather 
in the hat. The Corps of 
Engineers and that of 
Sappers and Miners, a blue 
coat with buff facings, 
red lining, buff under- 
clothes, and the epaulettes 
of their respective ranks. 
Such of the Staff as have 
military rank to wear the 
uniform of their ranks, 
and of the Corps to which 
they belong in the line. 
Such as have no military 
rank to wear plain coats, 
with a cockade and sword. 
All officers, as well war- 
rant as commissioned, to 
wear a cockade and side 
arms — either a sword or 
genteel bayonet. The Gen- 
eral recommends it to the 
officers, as far as practic- 
able, to provide themselves 
with the uniforms pre- 
scribed for their respective 
Corps by the regulations 
of Congress, published 
in General Orders, the 2d 
of October last." 

Soon after, General Washington forbade officers to make 
any alteration in the prescribed uniform. He also di- 
rected that the feathers to be worn by Major-Generals 
should have white below and black above, and recom- 
mended to the officers to have white and black cockades, 
a black ground with a white relief, emblematic of the ex- 
pected union of the two armies, American and French — 
the French uniform for the Infantry of the line was then 


22 i 9 & 


George Washington Play and Pageant Costume bcx)k 

Suggested Uniforms for Pageants and Plays 

The farmers of Lexington and Concord and the Minute 
Men should be dressed in civilian costumes — smallclothes 
(breeches and waistcoat) of almost any color. The 
breeches tight fitting and buttoned at the knee; the waist- 
coat cut long with flaps on the pockets. The character 
may wear a coat or not as desired. The coats were of a 
wide range of colors. 

The shirts were generally made of white material cut 
with very full sleeves and having a wide collar open at 
the throat, or a stock. The stockings should be of a 
plain color, white, gray or blue. Figured stockings were 
never worn. Low shoes with large buckles are the pre- 
scribed footwear. 

The hats of the three-cornered variety, usually termed 
tricorne, should be of felt. For equipment, a long rifle of 
the muzzle-loading type and a powder-horn slung across 
the shoulder by a leather string. Plate No. 25, page 18. 
illustrates the dress of these 

The Frontiersman 

This character is best rep- 
resented when dressed in the 
Indian hunting shirt, prefer- 
ably cut with a cape. It 
should be fringed at the bot- 
tom of the skirt, the outside 
seams of the sleeves and the 
bottom of the cape. 

The leggings or trousers 
should be close-fitting and 
follow closely the shape of 
the leg. At the bottom they 
should extend over the instep, 
the outside seam should be 
fringed. For material use 
soft leather or khaki. 

Moccasins should be used 
for footwear with this cos- 

A coonskin cap was usually 
worn both in summer and 
winter; however, any fur cap 
with a tail fastened pendant 
to the back is appropriate. 

The hunting shirt should 
be brought together at the 
waist with a wide leather 
belt; attached to it, a sheath 
for a hunting knife. Toma- 
hawks, part of the frontiers- 
man's equipment, were as a 
rule carried thrust through 
the belt. A muzzle-loading 
rifle with a powder-horn 
slung about shoulder. 

Plate No. 26, on page 18, 
gives an excellent illustration 
of the frontiersman's dress. 

As it is impossible to fea- 
ture the many different uni- 
forms of the various organi- 
zations in the Colonial Army, 



it is well to select one authentic type. And it is suggested 
that the uniform illustrated in Plate No. 22, page 16, be 
used, as it was the most popular uniform of the American 

The Colonial Private Soldier 

The coat is of blue faced with red .ind lined with white, 
the waistcoat and breeches of a buff color material. White 
or gray stockings should be worn, with black half gaiters 
or splatterdashes covering the ankles and reaching to the 
calf of the leg. The gaiters can be made of duck or linen. 
A dark blue or black stock should be worn, the ends in- 
side the vest. # 

The hat of felt is the familiar tricorne, with a rosette 
or pompon of red, white and blue. 

French Uniforms 

For the private of the 
French Army, in the full 
dress uniform of a corporal 
of a grenadier company, 
Plate 27, page 19, furnishes 
an illustration that it would 
be advisable to follow. 

The coat, breeches, waist- 
coat and long leggings are of 
a white material. The facing 
of the coat is cut differently 
from the American and Brit- 
ish uniforms with a standing 
collar in place of the roll col- 
lar. Violet or green was 
used in facings and trim- 
mings. In the field, the 
troops usually wore long 
black leggings in place of 
the white. 

No striking distinction in 
dress was made between the 
officers and men beyond the 
fact that the officers' uni- 
forms were of finer cloth. 
Plate No. 28, page 19, illus- 
trates a captain of Infantry 
on parade. 

White coat, waistcoat, 
breeches and leggings, with 
facings and trimmings of 
green. Note the high stand- 
ing collar and the gorget at 
the throat. This latter dec- 
oration was a quarter moon, 
shaped and made in gilt with 
the Royal Arms superim- 
posed in silver. The officers 
were distinguished by a 
white pompon on the hat. 

The officers on campaign 
wore black leggings and in 
cold weather a cloak of white 
cloth with a cape six or 

2.0 fig 

George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

seven inches wide on the shoulders. No jabots or cuffs of 
lace, and no sashes were allowed at this period. The 
coat collars and lapels were always worn hooked. 

British Uniforms 

There were sixty-six different British Regiments in 
America between 1775 and 1783. As each of these regi- 
ments had its own distinctive uniforms, space does not 
permit of a description of each. Red was the color most 
used for the coats of all branches of the service — infantry, 
artillery and cavalry — though some few regiments wore 
other colors for full dress. 

As a typical example of the uniform worn by the ma- 
jority of British soldiers in America during the Revolution, 
we have selected a grenadier of the Fifth Regiment of 
Foot. See Plate No. 23, on page 17. 

A red coat, faced with green, is of the usual military 
cut of the period, white waistcoat and breeches, white 
stockings, black half gaiters. 

The tall bearskin cap with the coat of arms of Great 
Britain on the tall visor can be used; or, if this type of cap 
is not obtainable, a black felt tricorne hat is appropriate, 
for many British regiments used that type of head-dress, — 
such as the 43rd Regiment of Foot, which had the mis- 
fortune to lose its colors at Yorktown when captured with 

Plate No. 24, page 17, illustrates a general officer of the 
British Army. The same uniform, with the exception of 
the star on the coat and the ribbon across the waistcoat — 
which are both insignia of the Order of the Bath — can be 
worn by a regimental line officer. 

A faithful reproduction of this uniform for all British 
officers is recommended to costumers. Top-boots or long 
leggings were worn when in the field. 

The coat is red with blue velvet facings. Gold braid is 
used to edge buttonholes and for the decorations. Waist- 
coat and breeches of white, white stockings. The brim of 
the hat is trimmed with gold braid. 

A crimson sash was worn by all general officers. 


Swords. — There was a wide variety of swords used by 
American officers, from the heavy cavalry saber to the 
dress sword. Those worn by the Infantry officers were 
not as long as those used later by our Army. Washing- 
ton's sword is a fine example of the sword used at that 

The scabbard was made of leather and the sword hung 
from a waist belt and often by a belt worn across the 
shoulder. The belt or shoulder belt was never worn out- 
side the coat, both types being worn over the vest, beneath 
the coat. 

Rifles and Bayonets. — The rifles and muskets used at 
that time were all of the muzzle-loading variety and 
longer than the service rifle of today. The bayonet was 
the same type as that used during the Civil War, more like 

a rapier than the knife type used now. The bayonet 
was worn in a leather scabbard attached to a white shoulder 
or cross belt. 

Cartridge Boxes and Cross Belts. — The bayonet 
shoulder belt worn over the right shoulder and the car- 
tridge-box belt worn over the left shoulder were known as 
cross-belts. In color, white, made of leather or canvas, they 
stood out in sharp contrast against the dark color of the 
coat. The cartridge box, which held powder and shot, 
was usually of black leather. 

Haversacks. — The haversack was a bag, closed by a 
flap and provided with a wide sling so it could be carried 
slung across the shoulder. The haversack was used by the 
soldier to carry his spare clothing and personal effects and 
was more often used than the knapsack. As it is extremely 
difficult to secure the Colonial type of knapsack, it is 
advisable for the costumer to provide his soldier charac- 
ters, when in heavy marching order, with the haversack. 

Boots, Shoes. — The private soldier wore a heavy, 
square-toed, low-cut black shoe, fastened with a large 
buckle of brass. Costumers can provide this type of shoe 
or a low, modern oxford with square toes can be used with 
a buckle, cut out of tin and gilted, fastened about the 
instep with a wide elastic. Boots were worn by general 
officers, staff and mounted officers of the American, French 
and British Armies, in the field and practically on all oc- 
casions. Boots were even correct for social functions, 
though as a rule were discarded for stockings and buckled 
shoes at dances and evening social affairs. The top-boot, 
as it was called, was made on the same general lines as 
the riding boot or officers' dress boot of today, except the 
top, from which it derives its name. The fox-hunting clubs 
still use the top-boot, which can be purchased at almost any 
large shoe store or can be supplied by costumers. An 
expedient often used, and one that is very satisfactory, is 
to use a black riding boot, of the type worn today, with 
a false top made from a piece of thin brown leather about 
four or five inches wide and long enough to encircle the 
boot. Sew the ends together and draw the false top over 
the boot leg, bringing the top edges together and fastening 
them to prevent the false top from slipping. 

The cavalry soldier of all the armies wore the high 

Leggings and Gaiters. — When in the field, to protect 
their stockings, infantry officers and privates of all armies 
wore some form of gaiter or legging. The American 
Army adopted the half-garter, or spatterdashes, as they 
were then called. These wera made in the same form as 
modern gaiters or spats, except that thev extended farther 
up the leg to the swell of the calf. They were buttoned 
on the outside and made of canvas and painted black. 
The majority of the British infantry wore the spatter- 
dashes while the others wore a long, buttoned legging, 
reaching above the knee and gaitered below the knee. 
This type of legging was made of a black woolen material. 
The French and Hessian troops also wore the long legging. 
That of the French was white, of the Hessian, black. 




George Washington Play and Pageant costume Book 



Ak.iu r (egret) — Cluster of feathers to be worn on the 

A i VMODl — Plain, glossy silk used throughout the eigh- 
teenth century. 

\i i \i>ini :, Alumni, Ellopine, Alpine — A woolen used 
for men's clothing in the early 1700's. 

AmazEEN — Corded silk popular in the Colonies and on 
the Continent until late eighteenth century. 

Apron — An article of utility and also of fashion. First 
worn for protection and later for style. In 
1744, most fashionable if very long. 

Artois — A many caped cloak' worn by men and women 
in the late eighteenth century. 

Band — Kind of collar. Made of lace or linen. 

Band Box — A box made to hold bands. 

Bandileers — Cases in which soldiers carried charges of 

Banyan — Lounging gown worn by both men and women. 

Barry, Barrie — A petticoat. 

Barnell — Leather apron worn by working men. 

Batts — Low shoes with lacings. 

Bell-hoops — Petticoats stiffened to have the shape of a 
bell. Fashionable in 1731. 

Binder — A baby band. 

Birdet — Silk from the Orient. 

Bole-Wig — The wig worn upon ordinary occasions from 
1725 to 1780. It was cut short with the hair 
closely dressed. 

Bone-Lace — So called because it was made with bone 
bobbins. Usually a linen lace. 

Bonnet — Headgear popular throughout the eighteenth 
century. Silk bonnets worn as early as 1725. 

Bonnet-paper — Pasteboard put in bonnets to give them 
their shape. 

Bosom Bottle — Tiny glass bottle worn in the lady's 
stomacher to hold water for flowers. 

Breast Knot — A knot of colored ribbon which came into 
fashion in 1730. George Washington ordered 
ones from England for his wife and step- 

Breeches — Worn by men during the Colonial and early 
national period. At first baggv affairs drawn 
tight at the waist and knees; later skin tight. 

Breeches Hooks — A man writing of life in Alexandria, 
Va., in Washington's time, said that breeches 
were hung upon hooks and the gentleman 
donned them by going up several steps and 
lowering himself into them. 

Buffonts — A puffed-out fichu. Worn over the bodice 
and above the breast to give a pouter pigeon 
effect. Usually made of gauze or net. Worn 
in the later eighteenth century — 1771 and on. 

Buttons — Buttons and buttonholes were very ornate. 
George Washington had several sets of fine 
shell buttons. Covered buttons, semi-precious 
stone buttons, steel buttons, shell buttons 
and paste buttons were all in style. 

Calash — A bonnet which was extensible and could be 
brought down over the face or pushed back; 
in shape resembling the top of a chaise or 

Calico — Cotton fabric in general wear at the time of the 
Revolution. Originally a material imported 
from Calicut, India — hence the name. 

Calks — Spiked soles to help the wearer walk on ice. 

Callimanco — A popular patterned material, probably 
glazed linen. The design w.\s only on one 
side of the fabric. Used for shoes as well as 
Campaign Wig — A wig for undress wear, fashionable in 
the late seventeenth and early eighteenth cen- 
tury. Not as elaborate as the peruke hut 
made full and curled to the front. 
Capuchin — A fashionable cloak of the eighteenth cen- 
tury patterned after the garb of a Capuchin 
friar — short silk cloak with hood attached. 

Cardinal — A cloak patterned after that of cardinals. 
Worn in red and other bright colors. 

Casket Girls — Girls sent by the French government to 
Louisiana. So called because each had an al- 
lotment of clothing in a trunk or casket as 
part payment for emigration. 

Canshets — Corsets worn by children. 

Chicken Skin — Used for gloves — and worn at night — to 
keep hands white. 

Chints — A cotton print — chintz. 

Chin-clout — A lace cravat for women. 

Clogs — Wooden shoe tipped and shod with iron. Worn 
as overshoes in bad weather. Eighteenth cen- 

Coming Out Bride — Quaint custom of the bride show- 
ing off her smart apparel at church on Sunday. 

Commode — Women's head-dress arranged upon a frame 
of wire and draped with thin silk. 

Curli Wurlis — Fancy curls. 

Dag Wain — Coarse material for utilitarian purposes. 

Damask — An elaborately patterned fabric, in silk, wool, 
or linen. 

Drawers — Breeches for summer wear. 

Engagements — Lace elbow ruffles. 

Eschelles — A ladder-laced stomacher. 

Fontange — Ribbon bow worn on the head. Named after 
Mile. Fontange who introduced it at the French 

Furbelow — A gathered flounce for trimming a dress. 

Glove Tightens — Hair- or ribbon-bands worn to keep 
gloves in place. 

Goloe-shoes — Goloshes or overshoes, worn in bad 

Hair — Was used for many purposes during the eighteenth 
century — lace and jewelry of hair were fre- 
quently worn. 

Hoops — Worn in various shapes and sizes — from 1712 to 
'Lappets — Lace pendants which hung from a woman's 
head-dress or cap. 

Lawn — Lovely sheer fabric. 

Loo-masks, Masks — Masks, covering only half the face, 
worn for protection against the sun. 

Mantua — A type of sacque worn out of doors. Also the 
name of a silk. 

Mitts — Fingerless gloves made of kid, lace, linen, and 

Modesty-piece — Strip of lace placed across the top of the 

Muffs — Carried by men and women from the early seven- 
teenth century. First of wool, later of feath- 
ers or fur. 

Nightrail — A dressing-gown adopted by women for 
morning wear. 


George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 

None-So-Prettys — Trimming tapes in fancy patterns. 

Palisade — A wire used in hairdressing. Part of the com- 
mode head-dress. 

Panniers — Series of hoops fastened together by tapes. 

Patches — Beauty marks of court-plaster, various shapes 
and sizes, stuck on the face. 

Pattens — Shoes with wooden sole and iron bands that 
raised the feet of the wearer out of the mud 
or dust. 

Petty-cote — A petticoat. Quilted ones were in fashion 
in the eighteenth century. 

Pillion — Platform behind the saddle upon which women 

Pinner — Child's bib or apron. George Washington or- 
dered pinners for little Nelly Custis. 

Pomander — Perforated ball for perfume. 

Ramillies — Style of wig — which came in vogue about 

1708 — had a braided tail in back with a large 
bow at the top and little one at the bottom. 

Safeguard — An outside petticoat pulled on over the dress 
for protection. Worn when riding. 

Smock — Workman's shirt of heavy linen. 

Snuff Boxes — Used for carrying snuff. In general use 
in 1702. 

Solitaire — A black ribbon worn around the neck. Men 
usually tied it to the back of the wig, brought 
it around in front and tucked it in their shirt 

Steinkirk — A cravat looped around the neck in a non- 
chalant manner. 

Stock — Stiff neckwear fastened in back with a stock 

Turban — Head-dress worn with the banyan when the 
wig was removed. 


Attention is called to the following dramatic material, 
published by the United States George Washington Bicen- 
tennial Commission: 

PLAYS — a bibliography of all George Washington plays 
and pageants, with a short synopsis of each, published by 
the Commission, and a descriptive list of dramatic material 
on the subject of George Washington available from pub- 
lishers throughout the country. 

OF GEORGE WASHINGTON— a booklet especially pre- 
pared for the Commission, containing suggestions on pro- 
ducing George Washington pageants. 

ing concert pieces, dances, marches and miscellaneous 
music of the Washington period, together with sugges- 
tions as to the adaptability of such music for specific oc- 

4. PAGEANTS AND PLAYS for Bicentennial occa- 
sions. (See pamphlet, "George Washington Pageants and 
Plays," for complete list.) 


George Washington Play and Pageant Costume Book 


Costumes Worn in the American 

Colonies mo-isoo 


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Bctxoolboy — :» 

Surveyor- — O^lcer wUh&cxiddocK^-Cbmffiander-'uL'Ctucp — » 'Pteeuittu' » 
e-~~— aEO^Er- WASHING:T0N- ~~» 

Authorities Consulted 

Collection at the National Museum, Washington, D. C, 
prepared by Mrs. Rose G. Hoes. 

Two Cm furies of Costume, in America — Alice Morse 

Child Life in Colvnial Days — Alice Morse Earle. 

Historic Dress in America — Elizabeth McClellan. 

The Psychology of Dress — Frank Alvah Parsons. 

Early American Costume — Edward Warwick and Henry 

Short History of the English Colonies in America — 
Henry Cabot Lodge. 

Uniforms of the United States Army, published by U. S. 


George Washington Pageants 

and Plays 


WAKEFIELD — A folk masque of America, being a Mid- 
winter Night's Dream of the Birth of Washington. 

FROM PICTURE BOOK TO WNE— Scenes from d ays of 
Washington especially adapted for production by small 

pageant in five episodes adapted for production by 
small children. 

candlelight reverie. Washington Tableaux interspersed 
with dialogue and song. 

MANY WATERS — A pageant in thirteen scenes. The 
action carries one to the shores of same rivers Wash- 
ington frequented. 

for juveniles, depicting important events in the life 
of Washington. 

THE GREAT AMERICAN — A community pageant- 
drama in six actions, portraying Washington as Sur- 
veyor, Frontiersman, Legislator, Commander-in-Chief, 
Statesman and Man. 

THE MAGIC SQUARE — A pageant-play in one episode 
especially designed for use by 4-H Clubs. 

THE REDBUD TREE— A pageant-play for children, 
written in the spirit of fantasy and set at Mount 

THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY— Thirteen import- 
ant events in the life of Washington, for adult pre- 

— An historical fantasy that transports modern chil- 
dren to the colonial age. 

WASHINGTON RETURNS— Four episodes: "The Youth 
and Adventure;" "The Man and Home;" "The Gen- 
eral and Fame;" "The Statesman." 

WHO'S WHO IN FEBRUARY— A pageant-play for chil- 
dren in which Miss February Twenty-second plays a 
leading role. 


MOTHER AND SON— Depicts young George Washing- 
ton's early inheritance of manhood and his deep re- 
spect for his mother. 

THE LURE OF THE SEA— Based on the incident of 
George Washington giving up a fond desire — the 
career of a midshipman. 

Washington in the role of a young surveyor among 
the "squatters" on the frontier. 

MATCHING WITS— Revolves about Major Washington's 
trip to Fort Le Boeuf to warn the French to leave the 

VINDICATED — Though certain aristocrats accuse Wash- 
ington of cowardice for withdrawing from Fort Ne- 
cessity, he is fully vindicated. 

I FOLLOW WASHINGTON— A dramatic page from 
history, dealing with General Braddock's disastrous 
march on Fort Duquesne. 

THAT IS MY ANSWER— Reveals how Washington de- 
feats an intrigue set afoot to make him a Tory leader. 

THE INDIAN'S PROPHECY— On the shores of the 
Great Kanawha, an Indian Sachem foretells a great fu- 
ture for George Washington. 

WASHINGTON GOES IN— Washington's mastery and 
influence make possible the sending of Virginia dele- 
gates to the Continental Congress. 

ing counsel of Lord Fairfax, Washington determines 
to serve the Colonial cause. 

THE CRISIS AT YORKTOWN— Victory— a dreadful 
uncertainty, until the flag of truce is seen waving over 
the besieged British camp. 

THE DOMINANT FORCE — Certain foreign agents are 
thwarted in their efforts to align President Washing- 
ton with the large States. 

HAPPINESS DAY — An atmosphere play concerning 
Martha Washington's observance of her wedding an- 
niversary after the death of the President. 

THE BLUE GOBLET— George and his brother Lawrence 
attend a meeting of the "Beefsteak and Tripe Club" 
in the Barbados,- where George frustrates a plot to 
poison the host. 

(Full synopses of these pageants and plays are con- 
tained in the catalogue, "George Washington Plays 
and Pageants," which will be sent upon request.) 



Written especially for the 





Author of "The Man With the Hoe" 


A Spartan mother called him into Time, 

And kindled duty in him as a flame; 

While he was schooled by the primeval hills 

Of old Virginia — schooled by her mighty woods, 

Where Indians war-whooped and the wild beast prowled. 

His name was written on no college scroll; 

But he drank wisdom from the wilderness. 

The mountains poured into his soul their strength, 

The rocks their fortitude, the stars their calm. 

He grew a silent man; 

Yet carried on all roads 

The lofty courtesies, the high reserves. 

He seemed to know, even in this noise of time, 

The solemn quiets of Eternity. 

But fiery energy, a live crater, slept 

Under that mountain calm; yet never blazed 

Into a passion, save in some black hour 

When craven souls betrayed the people. Then 

He was all sword and flame, a god in arms. 

With the heart of a child, the wisdom of a sage, 

He toiled with no self to serve. 

He grew in greatness, year by luminous year 

Until he carried empire in his brain. 

Yet if no Cause, no high commanding Cause, 

Had called him to the hazard of the deed, 

None would have guessed his power 

To build a nation out of chaos, give 

To her the wings of soaring destinies. 

But at the Hour, the People knew their Man, 

The one ordained of Heaven, ordained to stand 

In the deadly breach and hold the gate for God. 

And when the Scroll was signed and the glad Bell 
Of Independence echoed round the world, 
He led his tattered host on stubborn fields, 
Barefoot and hungry, thru the ice and mire — 
Thru dolors, valors, desperations, dreams — 
Thru Valley Forge on to world-startling hours 
When proud Cornwallis yielded up his sword. 
And all the way, down to the road's last bend, 
Cool Judgment whispered to his listening mind. 
Where there was faltering, he was there as faith; 
Where there was weakness, he was there as strength; 
Where there was discord, he was there as peace. 

His trust was in the Ruler of Events — 

In Him who watches. He could say, "The ends 

Are in God's hands. I trust, 

But while I trust I battle." In this creed, 

His soul took refuge and his heart found rest. 

When, after Yorktown, all the guns were husht 

Still was our Chieftain on a battle line, 

Fighting old laws, old manners, old'beliefs. 

He fought the outworn old, 

And lit new torches for the march ahead. 

Life tried his soul by all the tests of time 

By hardship, treachery, ingratitude; 
Yes, even by victory and the loud applause. 
When fortune flung to him a crown, he flung 
The bauble back and followed the People's dream. 
He turned from all the tempters, 

Stood firm above the perils of success 

Stood like Monadnock high above the clouds. 

He did the day's work that was given him: 
He toiled for men until he flamed with God. 
Now in his greatness, ever superbly lone, 
He moves in his serene eternity, 
Like far Polaris wheeling on the North. 

Form No. 501 ind Ed. 10 M i-J-)i K. L.